At the core of the activities stand the social mechanisms which contribute to the genesis and reproduction of social practices and structures beyond the borders of national states. It specifically deals with implications for membership, such as citizenship. This agenda encompasses three areas of research: cross-border migration, development cooperation, and the Transnational Social Question. In all three fields the research deals with how categories of persons, organizations and states build social formations which cut across national borders, such as transnational social spaces, such as diasporas, transnational communities, transnational families, transnational social movements, issue networks of organizations – and the consequences of transnational social formations for lifeworlds, social inequalities and memberships. The work of the Center on Migration, Citizenship and Development (COMCAD) builds on the critique of methodological nationalism and seeks above all to develop and employ methods adequate to overcome the shortcomings.
Transnational social spaces of migrants, their significant others and non-migrants are systematically mapped via the development of a mixed methods panel study, as in the case of Germany-Turkey (SFB 882, Project C1). Also, ongoing research analyzes (informal) social protection across borders by persons, families, and networks, spanning various transnational social spaces involving Turkey, Poland and Kazakhstan, and complementing macro-institutional approaches (SFB 882, Project C3). In the field of development the issue area climate change is particularly interesting, as it raises questions of cross-border cooperation of various organizations and the adaptation of rights and membership discourses to local needs in processes such as resettlement. Toward this goal, the AG has organized various Research Conferences, sponsored by the European Science Foundation (ESF).
An important part of the AG’s activities in research training are doctoral projects which reflect the three research areas discussed. Currently, there are 15 ongoing projects in the fields of transnational migration, development cooperation, climate change, and transnational social policy & protection. Future work of this research group will continue the strands transnationalization and deal more specifically with social protection in and around the European Union and its implication for membership.
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